Disquiet Junto Project 0554: Cage Chord

Hi there, Here’s my guitar-centric (via Ableton/Sampler) version of the drone:


So exciting to hear all these drones as the day progresses. I love when the Junto project can go live so shortly after midnight (Pacific), and then the music starts flowing quickly. Thank you, all.


Hey All,
If there is one thing the Junto can do well it is drones. I look forward to checking them out. It would be cool to hear them in a live venue.
I used the midi file and did a synth drone. I then pitched it way down but I think the chord still is audible. I added some owl sounds from freesound and some drums.
I think a drone should include dissonance so I pitched one track down a step from the other. Hope all are well.
I had downloaded the incorrect midi file.

I did this one with the correct chord. It is more in the style of “massive army of orcs approaching’” type drone. It does feature the chord itself more. I like that it kinda sounds like an orchestra.

Peace, Hugh


Hello, folks. Important note, and thanks to @33per for alerting me. The MIDI file originally produced for the project seems to have one error in it. The A4 is supposed to be an A#4. Graciously, @33per made a new MIDI file, which I’ve attached here.

Revised.mid (143 Bytes)

Also, the link in the instructions (disquiet.com/0554-midi) has been fixed to direct to this new version of the MIDI file. Thanks to @jasonw22 + @RPLKTR for support, too. Forward!


Thanks for paying attention. Yeah, I checked the octaves with organist/composer Michael Pelzel to make sure. Hope I got everything right.


Cage Chord

Hi all. Decided to keep this one simple…


Hey all,
Thank you Marc, great prompt.
Serendipitous as I have been building an instrument in Pure Data based on the tutorials of Simon Hutchinson on YT which has six notes and was mucking about in it yesterday trying to make something.
So its 6 dual oscillators (sine and saw tooth) that I can randomly control note lengths, tunings, LFO and echo.
I added in my new note values and set it off, recorded ten minutes and layered the
result in Logic 6 times. I then shortened it down to three minutes and hacked bits out for dynamics. I offset each sequence, panned and gave each some space using EQ. I added Raum to a couple as well.
I really like the sound out of Pure Data there is a brittle freshness.
Eno meets Cage at the airport.



i missed last week’s because i’m in the process of moving to a new daw and wasn’t really familar with how to make sections of a track have different time signatures or tempos. if anyone’s familiar with bitwig and knows how to do this, maybe i’ll go back to it, assuming i don’t figure it out myself.

this was an appealing project to me because i am currently working on a drone record of my own (currently titled, very creatively, ‘drone project’) and so the method for producing such sounds is fresh in my mind. it was also remarkably straightforward to do, which is always pleasing. i did think about adding more to it but i’ll explain my reasons for not doing so in due time.

i brought the (revised) midi file into bitwig and picked an instrument to play it. in this case i chose analog lab v by arturia, largely because this instrument lets you search by tag, so i was easily able to find various drone presets among the hundreds if not thousands of options. i picked one that i liked the sound of, fairly arbitrarily; i would have customised it myself but i’m not familiar with the instrument and i’m still learning how to do these things (would recommend syntorial to anyone else trying to learn). i also set the bpm in bitwig to the lowest value it would accept, which is 20 bpm.

once i had the chord playing i wanted to make it more of a drone/texture than a typical chord sound. i followed the same routine as i have been doing with my own project and added arturia’s granular effect, efx fragments, to that track. i wanted to give it a bit more spaceyness as well so also added karanyi’s poly space (a lovely ambient reverb). after a few listens i felt like it was still too speedy so i employed cableguys halftime to slow things down. i did consider using a timestretcher on the exported audio but i felt like i wanted to do everything inside of the daw.

the last step in bitwig was to add my master chain which i’ve been using for my own drone project. it starts with dj swivel’s spread to make the sound nice and wide, then follows up with audio damage’s eos 2 and other desert cities to establish the drone textures. finally there comes izotope’s ozone and neutron to clean things up.

i did consider adding additional sounds or having multiple instances of the chord playing at once, but i felt that, for me, it was not in the spirit of the project. the idea is based off a single instrument playing the chord, so i decided to have just a single instrument in mine as well. i thought about having some atmospheric/field recording type sounds as well, but i felt like those might muddle the piece, although of course ambient sounds are very appropriate to something inspired by john cage. pleasingly, over half of the duration of my piece has no notes actively being played; the sounds are purely reverb and echo.

the final step was to come up with a title and some artwork for the piece. as usual i went to the thesaurus. i didn’t find anything particularly inspiring for the project’s title, “cage chord”, but i did find some nice synonyms when i started searching for the title of the musical piece itself, “as slow as possible”. i came up with the title “drowsy hypothetical” which appealed to me greatly; a fair amount of my music seems to be associated with sleep and dreams so it seemed rather fitting.

again for the artwork the standard routine was to produce it via ai. i fed the system the track title and some appropriate keywords, and when selecting the random number seed for the image, i put in 639, the number of years it will take to play “as slow as possible” in its entirety.

i hope people enjoy this piece. i had a nice time making it, and it was a pleasant if slight diversion from working on my own drone project; the method here was different enough for it to be a change of pace.


I can’t believe it’s been 4 years since I attempted a Junto project! This week’s prompt seemed like a nice place to jump back in.

To make my drone I recorded one note at a time on my Korg Minilogue and manually adjusted the filter frequency and resonance along with a few other parameters. I also threw in some quiet natural ambience that I recorded last weekend. I tried to keep the ambience in tune with the drone.


Hi everyone! Finally have been able to rejoin the Junto for a bit of sonic fun! Love this prompt, as I love making drones…

Recently, I’ve been having a lot of fun using Ableton’s Simpler device to make my own instruments. Here, I’ve used a field recording of a cricket [taken outside my house] and Raum [vst reverb plugin] to play this chord.


Today’s attempt, tomorrow might change:

Perhaps not so drony. I sequenced the notes of the chord in Achologies and played them through the internal synth and midi to Pluto. Then I gathered it all in Coco for some slight processing. This resulted in an 8min track, which I then jumbled together in Ableton.

Should loop nicely.

Edit: updated the file slightly. New url for the playlist-minded.


Made with NI Maschine+ (Reaktor and Massive). Two Massive heavily modulated drones playing the bordone Cage chord, going through a couple of pulsating Reaktor FXs and a band-pass panning phaser. On top a free played pianoforte pattern over Cage chord notes with an ostinato mini-theme on the left hand.

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I wanted some movement in my part. So I mixed Felt Instrument’s Helenko, Tapes 01 Ensemble, and Slate & Ash Landforms. Well, that was a short and sweet assignment :wink:
Looking forward to all your contributions!


Hi everyone. Thank you so much for the engaging messages and discussion re that single chord - for catching the wrong pitch, for correcting the MIDI file. Looks like we have several interpretations of what sould be sounding too. And for a moment I stressed out - I’ve got this wrong! - but then I did check with what’s sounding in Halberstadt (there’s footage on YouTube) before sending the file off to Marc, and it did sound different again. So who knows… but now, listening through your wonderful contributions, they’re so wildly eclectic that I think it probably doesn’t matter all that much. The plan is to edit one single long drone from the contributions and play it at the Cage Room as a loop. Will let you all know how it turned out.

And you know what? A friend just alerted me to the fact that John passed away exactly 30 years ago today. What a wonderful coincidence that we are gathering here around a single chord by this gentle giant of music, and honoring him in our own small way. :heart:


I split up the chord into a fistful of Ableton Live tracks, all with (not too) different Kontakt instruments and placed them in space by pan and reverb. Every note had a chance of being played of 50% per 90bpm bar. Some noise was added because I felt it being too clean, accepting that this and too much movement would maybe not correspond with the spirit of Cage’s piece.

An export was done and the mix happened in Reaper, where a Valhalla Delay with 4 bars lenght on the master track repeated whatever is played to smear the notes into each other. The result was the 8 minute track Chord Cage. I took a 3 minute part out of this and made it into a loop by adding the beginning to the end to comply with the rules.

The Loop version was intended to be a byproduct; after listening to the looped version looping for half an hour or so while creating the cover I’m not so sure whether I really prefer the long Chord Cage, which works standalone with no context, over the Chord Cage Loop, which can be played virtually endless.


Very simple processing - the chord was played by the default sine wave in Logic’s sampler with the filter reduced to zero after a fraction of a second. The filter was then allowed to open back to 100% over 90 seconds. The resulting audio was fed through Valhalla Room and Atlantis Dual Chambers reverbs, mastered, then used as a sample, triggered in reverse and looped.

[SATURDAY 13/8/22]

After giving it a bit of thought I think I’d rather enter this one as my contribution this week. Although it (obviously) deviates from the pitches given I feel that equally as important as the absolute pitches in any chord are the intervals between them; the internal intervalic relationships are what really define a chord - it can be rendered a bit higher, or a bit lower, but the uniqueness of a chord is defined by the space between the notes (or so think I) …

So …

Here is the ‘Cage Chord’ as a Shepard Tone … pitches all over the place - intervalic structure maintained.

[SUNDAY 14/8/22]

Jinkies … talk about showing your working out …
This is much more musical … Final Answer!


I created this drone in PureData using the Karplus-Strong algorithm as a way to form the individual tones.

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What I particularly like about the great projects of @disquiet : The inspirations are so different. For the last project I improvised on the keyboard, and now I simply play 6 notes throughout the track…

I decided to base the drone on my new and my proven favourite sounds…
I created the first four tracks from steady sounds of the Epic Choir, treating every track with different effects. Then I automated inputs of the instrument (dynamic, expression, microphone-mix) and selected effects by recording with the Korg nanoKONTROL.
Next I added two staccato tracks of the Epic Choir. They were played by Transition (from codefn24) triggering single notes of the chord with much randomness. Valhalla SpaceModulator and Supermassive turn them into a drone, but I wanted to retain recognisable voices.
Next came a Hainbach Landfill Totem sound, also highly modified with automation.
From my proven favourite Olafur Arnalds Evolutions I used two single sounds (Cellos) and one grid. For the cellos also dynamic and expression were automated to blend in and out and change the sound. The grid was played by stochas, employing much randomness in probability of note, velocity, length and position.
Last but not least a Olafur Arnalds Stratus Synth plays the chord with highly randomized synth swarm-sounds.

I find it fascinating how the sounds blend together. Only by muting single sounds I could verify that all are a part of the whole soundscape, none is redundant.

I am not to sure whether this is a drone. I called it eclectic since I think I used elements normally not part of a drone. I was struck by the coincidence that @TobiasReber used that word in his comment to the accord-discussion. Thanks Tobias for the great projects!


Each note uses a different instrument, with some effects applied along the way.


This week’s prompt: A John Cage chord (E5 A#4 E4 D#4 Db3 C3) meant to be as slow as possible, in a 3 minute loopable drone, for potential inclusion in a music fest.

The chord is strange. Sort of a Cm7b9 with a wrong note voiced in a blatantly hostile fashion. And the idea took me to a place which is not appropriate for a music festival, or looping, or droning, or maybe even human consumption. I’m not sure. This one may be bad. For the first time in a while I’m really not sure whether to hit the upload or the trashcan.

But it calls on a lot of sounds i’ve been experimenting with around synthesis and feedback, instability, and random structure. And all the voices (voices? sure I’ll go with voices) here have those characteristics. And what the heck. The communities are friendly so toss it out there.

Mechanics: A stack of 6 or so Surge XT instances in Logic with a lot of patching, a lot of automation, and a bit of compression on the back.